Lately there are times I felt judgmental. I felt like I am not being the unconditional person I want to be. Why do certain events and/or people trigger that emotion in me? I’ve been searching for the reasons. I know my reaction comes from something inside of me, something I need to deal with, a lesson I need to learn. The lesson is on repeat right now. When this happens, I know I need to stop, take a breath and figure out why the lesson keeps surfacing.
I look back to my childhood to see if something from there could be causing these feelings. I don’t see anything. I grew up in what some would say is the perfect All-American home. My dad worked, my mom stayed home with her three girls. I can remember my parents fighting only a handful of times. My mom was selfless, calm and loving. I think she was struggling to find her identity. I find myself to be more like her. I am breaking that cycle because I know I am my own person with my own unique traits and I am proud of who I am.
I look back at my dating history. Did I have dysfunctional relationships? Heck yes. I attracted the jealous men that kept me reeled in and cheated whenever they had the chance. I attracted the insecure, clingy guys that suffocated me, and I stayed until they left. The nice guys, the genuine guys, never seemed to stick around long. I am realizing, I am attracting the type of person my vibes are putting out. The person I think I deserve. But why? I deserve someone who is caring, open, honest, trustworthy and selfless, just like myself. It’s time to remember that.
So why do certain things make me feel less than? Why do they bring up the not good enough feelings? The feelings that make me feel like I am in competition to prove my worth. Just when I think I am making progress and living authentically, I backslide. Something I read or something someone says sends me into a tailspin. Why then, do I feel like I have to defend myself? I find myself becoming catty and slipping into old behaviors, like a high school mean girl. Ick. It makes me feel guilty. I could tell myself to just stop behaving or thinking that way, I could say that all day long, but do I truly feel it? Not all the time. Sometimes my thoughts and feelings put out negative vibes and the pattern continues.
Who am I to pass judgement on others when I expect no one to pass judgement on me? I am a hypocrite at times. I own it. I don’t like it, but I own it. I am not perfect. I don’t think anyone expects me to be, yet I hold myself to the standard of perfection. I put unneeded pressure on myself. Sometimes I just want to stomp my feet and yell, “this isn’t fair,” why me?
And then those feelings of inadequacy pass, the trigger is gone and I give myself grace. Grace to be imperfect. Grace to be someone who screws up and is sometimes judgmental. I tell myself, it’s okay to feel these things, let them in and release them. I tell myself not to be so hard on myself, no one else is. It’s unneeded pressure.
There is something inside I am still searching to forgive or heal and that is part of this journey I am on. It’s okay that I am not okay all of the time. I can act like a child and throw tantrums, its part of my growth. Growth isn’t easy my friends. Growth sometimes downright sucks. But growth is admitting that I don’t have it all together all of the time. Growth is telling myself I am enough right now, where I am, in any given moment. I love myself even when I don’t necessarily like myself or my actions. It’s allowing me to say, it’s okay to just be who I am, even if I am messy, unrefined and quirky. Because on the flip side of those not-so friendly traits are traits that overpower any of the less than good ones.
The child-like tantrum traits combined with the emerging compassionate adult traits are what makes me who I am. I am selfless, I am nurturing, and I am big-hearted and loving. I would pass up that last piece of double chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for someone who quietly asked me if it was the last piece. So, for the times when I am judgmental, I forgive myself. For the times when I am a not-so-nice human, I forgive that too. Why? Because I know I am doing the best I can at any given moment and that is more than enough.
This article previously appeared on the SHFT blog.